Divine surprise

Washington National Cathedral, April 2005

Washington National Cathedral, April 2005

“The story of Easter is the story of God’s wonderful window of divine surprise.”
— Carl Knudsen

It’s possible to hope with complete assurance for something, and still be delightfully surprised when you get more than you asked for.  That’s how Christmas morning often felt to me in childhood; the anticipation, though great, never quite captured the magic of what we saw when we rushed downstairs before dawn.  It’s also how I felt when our sons were born; no matter how much I imagined we would love them, it didn’t come close to the joy of actually holding them and seeing them face to face.

Thus it is that we can live a life of deep faith and steadfast trust, and still we cannot begin to imagine what lies ahead.  As promised in I Corinthians 2:9, we wait in confident expectation for things we are now unable to fathom: for the miracle of divine surprise.


  1. merry

    A Divine surprise. A wonderful idea. Happy Easter.

    • I have seen so many “divine surprises” in my life; most small and not dramatic by any means, but unmistakable to me. Our God is full of divine surprises for us which we often find just when we need them most. The resurrection stories are my favorite parts of the Bible, and the verse I love best is where the angels say to the women, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” It must have given them chills to hear those words. Happy Easter!

  2. amen. BeLOVE Julia. “we wait in cofident expectation for more than we can even imagine.” agape Love and prayers to you & yours this Day of the Lord for all the miracles of divine surprises.

    • Kate, isn’t it wonderful to know that what lies ahead will be more spectacular and glorious than anything we can imagine? The majesty of the earth hints at it, but we are all in for a divine surprise that will put everything here in perspective. I am so glad the promises of God are there to bring us comfort in difficult times. I’ll keep praying for your family!

  3. I love this post, Julia. Your examples of Christmas and when your boys were born were perfect examples of what we have to look forward to…the ultimate divine surprise. I do believe God provided the beauty of the universe to give us a sample of the awesome wonders we have to look forward to. God bless you and your family…continued prayers.

    • Thank you, Nelda. I am so happy to have you visit us here. Just as we like to drop tantalizing hints to children about what may lie in store, I believe God has left us glimmers that hint at what lies ahead, the ultimate Divine surprise. Really when you think about it, the Bible is full of such surprises, and not all of them were happy ones. But it’s clear that God wills everyone “to have life, and have it more abundantly.” Thanks for your continued prayers for us, they are being answered!

  4. Sheila

    Julia, what a truly beautiful picture capturing such a grand structure. Prayers are being answered for so many. Bill has responded to hospital treatments of antibiotics and is being discharged today. He is quite tired but I’m overjoyed enough for the two of us and everyone that has sent a prayer. Easter just became more special! Always a prayer across the miles,

    • Sheila, this is wonderful news! My internet was down last night and early today, so I was unable to check my blog, and I wondered how Bill was doing. I was praying to hear what you have just told me. YES this Easter will be more special for us all, with these blessings that promise new reasons for hope. Praying for you both with “please” and “thank you” to God! Happy Easter.

      • Sheila

        We are hopeful aren’t we,Julia? I was worried last night without any posts or replies.
        I said a prayer that all was well with Jeff, and also you and Matt. I used to sing a jingle with my grandchildren,” Please and thank you are the magic words.” Thank you so much….. Happy Easter.

  5. What a lovely thought and a beautiful photo. May God continually surprise you my friend. Keeping you and all of yours in prayer.

    • Thank you Amy! You have been so helpful to us already. We appreciate your steadfast friendship and support. Love you!

  6. It must be a great comfort to you, to have your faith and families of like minds to support you along the way, that’s truly wonderful. I wish you the happiest Easter.

    • Thanks so much! Happy Easter to you too. I appreciate your visits here.

  7. Right now we are going through the most difficult, uncertain moments of our life as expatriates. The same is the case with the whole community. Don’t know what’s in store for us. I only wish it is a divine surprise, something that will let us lead a normal life.
    Lovely picture.

    • Bindu, I am so sorry to read that you are having troubles. I will most certainly pray for you and hope that you will be blessed with more than you ask for. Please keep me posted about how you are doing. I will be thinking of you.


  1. All now mysterious shall be bright | Defeat Despair

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